Ancient Roots and Early Beginnings

The primal composition of the ancient settlement in the southeastern region of Bombon Lake were elements of the dispersed colonial families founded by Datus Dumangsil and Balkasusa in Taal Batangas between the 10th and 13th century AD.  These pioneer settlers under the leadership of the fleeing Datu Puti, chief of state of the then mighty Sri-Vishayan Empire, purchased the lowlands from King Marikudo of the Mountain Province at his kingdom.  The purchased  lands consisted of Panay in the Visayas and the lowlands in Luzon including Batangas.  The ten (10) Bornean Datus divided among themselves the purchased lands, the Batangas Bay were apportioned among the Dumangsil and Balkasusa Clans.

It is however subject to conjecture whether the pre-historic Negritos 12,000 to 15,000 years age or the much later waves of Indonesian and Malay seafarers from 5,000 to 300 B.C. were able to settle along the coasts of Batangas into the inner lake region of Taal which was accessible to navigation through the Pansipit River, thus, the possibility of miscegenetic marriages and cross culture among the aboriginal inhabitants, the old settlers and the latter Dumangsil and Balkasusa Clans.  Or whether violent wars had been waged between old inhabitants and new colonizers is uncertain too, incontrovertible proofs being wanting.

It is however, a historical fact that out of this Bornean Tribe of the Dumangsil and Balkasusa Clan was born the ancestry of Lipa and as later on their descendants spread out towards Laguna de Bay and Bicol Peninsula.  The remains excavated from their ancient settlements in Butong , Taal, Calatagan Bay Area and Balayan will attest to the fact of their presence in the said site at least in the latter part of the 12th century down to the coming of Goiti and Legaspi in Batangas in 1570.  The flourishing trade relations between these early Batangueños with a number of Chinese merchants prior to the spanish conquest explained the presence of hundreds of  Chinese wares from potteries to stonewares and vases of Sung Dynasty period to the latter part of the 16th century, in the burial grounds at Calatagan sites of Pulung Bakaw, Kay Tomas, Pinagpatayan I and II at Butong, Taal Batangas.

The influence of the Chinese traders in Batangas is undeniable, although it is speculative whether the extent of the Chinese trade penetrated the inner region of Taal Lake via Pansipit River.  In any case inasmuch as the uncovered Chinese wares belonged to the same century of Batangas colonization, basic identities remained unaltered as they originated from a single empire of Sri-Vishaya, minor local ways must have evolve comparatively in the period of less than a century but the general characteristics must have been kept.

By origin the early Lipeños were Buddhist in religion and Indian in civilization.  As such the heritage of the Lipeños was the ancient eastern civilization of India which was twenty times older than its counterpart in Mesopotamia and Nile of the Western World.  With its not infrequent contact with the Chinese traders, the Batangueños have absorbed and been influenced too by another giant and ancient civilization that of China herself.  And with Spanish colonization of the Philippines and the Salcedo conquest of Batangas in 1572, the Lipeños were forced to embrace the Western Civilization.  This is the reason why in Lipa, the east also meets the west.

By characteristics, the early Lipeños like that of their fellow Borneans scattered all over the coasts of Batangas, were average in height range which approximates the present Filipino in rural areas.   Anthropologists classified them as dark, stocky with thick lips and large noses.

Social isolation is characteristic of these early Lipeños, as they live in a separate tribal community.   In Batangas settlements, this isolation is proved by the fact of their burial grounds arranged in different manners employing distinct internment practices and rituals.  The burial grounds were characterized by grave markers or other signs in surface denoting the presence of graves.  Usually above the skeleton, giant claws, chunks of brain corrals or both were placed.  Some non-Christian peoples in the Philippines still build small structures over graves and offerings placed on the ground beneath the structure such as food in plates and  bowls.  At both cemeteries, Bakaw and Tomas, hundreds of shreds of earthen ware and porcelain were found on the surface.  A further explanation for the presence of many of these shreds is that they are the fragments of vessels which had been placed on the grave to hold offerings being destroyed in the decades which have been passed.

At the coming of the Spaniards to Batangas in 1570, the Malay settlements along the southern shores of Taal Lake at Tagbakin was inhabited by the warlike descendants of the two (2) datus called the Tagalogs.  In 1605, after Marshall Gabriel de Rivera received the encomienda of Bombon, the Augustinian Fathers made Tagbakin the first settlement of the Lipeños and a mission center with the name of San Sebastian, perhaps after the installed Patron Saint, which continued to the present.  The settlement was made a regular municipality in 1702 and a regular parish in 1716 with Fray Diego de Alday as the first curate.

With the eruption of Taal Volcano in 1724, the people moved to what is now “Lumang Lipa” and,  again, in 1754, they moved to Balete where they settled for two years until 1756 when they moved inland to the present site obviously for more security from volcanic eruptions.

When Don Galo de los Reyes was the governadorcillo of Lipa, he introduced the cultivation of coffee.  The seeds of the Arabica species were said to be of two chupas brought in from Mexico by an Agustinian missionary.  The coffee industry so flourished and made Lipa the richest municipality in the country with an annual income of P4,000,000.00 that on October 21, 1887 the Queen Regent Maria Christina of Spain, acting for the young King Alfonso XIII, elevated Lipa to a city known as “Villa de Lipa”, and  later authorized to use a Coat-of Arms by the Royal Overseas Minister Don Victoria Bagner on December 13, 1887.

At the celebration of the elevation of Lipa to a city in January 1888, Rizal was invited by Dr. Jose Lozada, Catalino Dimayuga and the brothers Celestino and Simeon Luz but Rizal responded only with his Hymno Al Trabajo which he dedicated to the zeal and industry of the Lipeños.

The raising of cacao was introduced in Lipa by an Augustinian priest, Father Ignacio de Mercado, and that was the beginning of its cultivation throughout the Philippines.

The raising of abaca followed the blight of coffee as a principal source of income of the people,  reaching peak productions during World War I.   After the abaca boom, and with no more principal product like it or coffee in its time, the people resorted to diversification of their crops in coconuts, bananas, coffee and other fruit trees, together with rice, corn, sugarcane, and vegetables in farms  and backyards.  They also engaged themselves in livestock raising and varied home crafts for men, and small industries, like weaving, embroidery and sewing for women.  After World War  II citrus production prevailed until 1970 and, after its decline, about 1965, poultry and swine raising began to take roots and to thrive in no small degree until the present.

In earlier periods of prosperity, the intellectuals class became active at home and abroad.  Those who went to Europe  joined the other Filipino patriots in the propaganda movement and in the various reform organizations.  Those who remained at home organized similar patriotic societies, put up publications, founded schools and promoted political, social and cultural activities among the people.   They also joined the revolution which liberated the Philippines on June 12, 1898, and fought the Filipino-American War which brought in the American Regime, through the Japanese occupation from 1941 to 1945 during World War II, until terminated on July 4, 1946.

Late in  1894, Procopio Bonifacio, brother of  Andres Bonifacio, brought the Katipunan to Lipa, at sitio Bulihan, Luta (now Malvar, Batangas , then a part of Lipa).  There were 32 who joined the secret society and among them were Col. Mariano Lat, Major Gregorio Leviste, Capt. Gregorio Lat, and Lts.  Felix Leviste, Martin Sancha, Gregorio Tapia, Fernando Viaje, Valentin  Burgos and Pedro Libuit.  Pedro Mayo and Norberto Mayo also joined in other localities..   Other leaders of the revolution from Lipa were Gregorio Katigbak, Cipriano Kalaw,  Benito Reyes, Pedro Laygo, Roman Dimayuga, Luis Kison, Tomas Umali and Felix Reyes.

The first newspaper in Batangas, published in Spanish, was the “Lumubog-Lumutang”, printed in Lipa in 1889, and established by the well-known  writers Cipriano Kalaw, Gregorio Katigbak, Benito Reyes, Hugo Latorre and Pedro Laygo. Other pioneer Spanish writers were Bernardo Solis, Catalino Dimayuga and Manuel Luz.  During the revolution, Gregorio Aguilera Solis  edited a newspaper “Columnas Voluntas de la Federacion Malaya”.  This paper became the media for notable poems and literary works of Albino Dimayuga , Baldomero Roxas, Luis Lina Kison, Bernardo Solis, Benedicto Solis, Emiliano Manguiat and Petronio Katigbak.  Roman Dimayuga wrote plays, while Pedro Laygo published articles on domestic and international politics and Tomas Umali on military affairs.

Hispanistas during the American regime included national figures like Teodoro Kalaw, Fidel Reyes, Arsenio Luz, Max B. Solis , Enrique Laygo and Claro M. Recto.

Lipeños also served in the Revolutionary  Republic.  These were Gregorio Aguilera who was delegate  to the Malolos Congress; Ceferino Pantoja, also a member of that congress; Jose Lozada, as envoy  to Washington and Paris, and Cipriano Kalaw, the first vice-president  and Treasurer of the Central Committee of Hongkong.

In the field of education, Father  Valerio Malabanan was foremost among Lipeños who established schools.   Others were Sebastian Virrey, Jacinto Silva,  Candido Lantin and Gregorio Katigbak.  In 1894, Brigido Morada established his own school at his house in Mataas na Lupa.  Under Father Valerio Malabanan were such well-known figures as Apolinario Mabini, General Miguel Malvar and Sotero Laurel.  Sebastian Virrey countered with such former students as the brothers Alfonso and Claro M. Recto;  Fidel and Carmelo Reyes; Teodoro and Maximo Kalaw; Pacifico, Jose and Enrique Laygo; and Manuel Luz Roxas , Jose D. Dimayuga, Bernabe Africa, Pablo Borbon, Potenciano Malvar, Leoncio Aranda and Bishop Alfredo Obviar..  The later school, perhaps marked for permanence  by the enthusiastic patronage of its high standard maintained through the years since its founding in 1922 until the present, is the Mabini Academy established by Dr. Jose Ma. Katigbak, Randall A. Rowley, Tarcila Malabanan-Katigbak and Emilia Malabanan.

The fact that Lipeños, even up to the present, are very religious, may be attributed to the fact that Fr. Benito Baras, who was Parish Priest of Lipa for almost three decades (1865-1894), has considered Villa de Lipa as his very own and had shown great paternal love for the Lipeños.   He constructed the Parish Church  (now Cathedral of the Lipa Archdiocese) and a new and bigger cemetery with a beautiful chapel.  Without aid from the State, he constructed the bridge at Sabang and the road that served as a national highway to Manila and Laguna.

The Lipa Parish, established in 1716, became a diocesan center in 1910, included the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Tayabas, Marinduque and Mindoro, with Msgr. Jose Petrelli as the first bishop.  On August 15, 1972, the diocese was raised to an eccelesiastical  province composed of Batangas province and the dioceses of Lucena, Infanta and Calapan, with Msgr Alejandro Olalia as the first Archbishop.

On August 31, 1947, Lipa was inaugurated as a chartered City created under Republic Act No. 162 approved on June  20, 1947.


LIPA CITY OFFICIAL SEAL

lipa city official seal 50
The official seal of the city remained basically the same since its inception and adoption those “Villa de Lipa” days through the present times.

The figures, inscriptions and colors have remained the same except for the words “Villa de Lipa” which has been changed to the City of Lipa appropriate to the times and the “Escudo” to official Seal as naturally as it should.

Within the sphere is a rectangle divided into three (3) parts. The upper portion has two (2) parts of equal size and the lower portion which make up one dominant rectangle. The upper right rectangle colored red symbolizes bravery and has a figure of a hammer and anvil which stand for industry. The upper left rectangle, with a white hue representing purity, has combined figures of a cross, a heart, and an anchor. These represent the three virtues namely: the anchor of Esperanza (hope) the cross for Fe (faith), and the Heart for Caridad (charity). The lower rectangle with colored light blue sky representing hope has figures of a farmer and carabao. The farmer and carabao stand for agriculture. A figure of a mother nursing her child is seen under a tree.

The fact that the city is predominantly an agricultural community and its residents highly religious can be seen from the seal of the city itself. The lower rectangle which dominates the seal characterizes the chief source of livelihood of the residents which is agriculture. The industriousness of the Lipenos can also be gleaned from the inscription “Trabajo” while the strong religious trait of the Lipenos implied in the inscription “Virtud” and figures of the three (3) virtues impressed thereon.

The official seal of Lipa is a living symbol of what the city is and what its residents are, It is a proof of the city’s personality which every Lipeno can be proud of.

 

LIPEÑO HYMN

LIPENO HYMNSometime in October 1971, a song was composed by the late Mr. Antonio M. Dimaano to express the unspoken sentiments of his fellow Lipeños. The song as aptly named contains the genuine love of every resident of Lipa for the city.

It was the sad conditions occurring in the city during the pre-martial law days which prompted him to write the song. With the strong drive to arouse the patriotic side of his fellow Lipeños, the simple yet meaningful hymn sung to a marching tempo was composed.

The first time it was heard was when Ms. Juliet Roxas, a public school teacher sang it on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the city, in the honor of the Outstanding Men of the Year of Lipa.

The composer and song writer of the song was a former public school teacher who took up some music lessons at St. Scholastica’s Conservatory of Music and piano lessons under the tutorship of a German Doctor of Music, Sister Renata Regner, O.S.B. He has been the Cultural Coordinator of the city prior to his death on October 25, 1980.

The fruit of his efforts and love for the city have been rewarded when it was officially adopted as the Official Hymn of Lipa City last June 5, 1978 at a regular session of the Sangguniang Bayan on motion of Hon. Vice-Mayor, Atty. Celso C. Dimayuga and seconded by the Hon. City Mayor, Atty. Carlos S. Solis, by virtue of Ordinance No. 78-30. It was declared that the hymn be sung by all students in both public and private schools. It was further announced  that said hymn be sung immediately after singing the National Anthem in standing position as a sign of respect.

From that time on, the LIPEÑO is sung on all public functions immediately following the National Anthem such as the flag raising ceremony.

 

O bayan kong minamahal
Ganda mo’y pambihira
Sa yong kariktan, hirap sakit ay napaparam
Sa piling mo bayang sinta
Lipeno’s handang ialay
Yaring puso at buhay man
Nang dahil lamang sa iyong dangal

Lipeno’y magsama-sama
damdami’y ating pag-isahin
Dakilang layunin natin
Ay malugod na bigkis-bigkisin
Lipeno tayo’y magdiwang
Iwaksi and kalungkutan
Ialay dugo at buhay man
Kung iyan ang kailangan niya

O bayan kong minamahal
Ganda mo’y pambihira
Sa yong kariktan, hirap sakit ay napaparam
Sa piling mo bayang sinta
Lipeno’y handang ialay
Yaring puso at buhay man
Nang dahil lamang sa iyong dangal

Lipeno’y magsama-sama
damdami’y ating pag-isahin
Dakilang layunin natin
Ay malugod na bigkis-bigkisin
Lipeno tayo’y magdiwang
Iwaksi and kalungkutan
Ialay dugo at buhay man
Kung iyan ang kailangan niya

Ialay dugo at buhay man
Kung iyan ang kailangan niya.